Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Alternatives to using bleach

These are some of the tips for cleaning without bleach that I found. 

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The main purposes for bleach are to whiten and disinfect. So here are some tips:
  • To whiten stained spots on clothing: put some lemon juice on the spot, rub in a bit of salt, and leave it in the sun for an hour or two. It lifts the stain.
  • To clean spills from health contaminants (raw meat or eggs in the kitchen, urine in the bathroom): Straight vinegar is a great disinfectant. I advise keeping a sponge with vinegar near your cutting boards for frequent use.
  • To whiten laminate counter tops: Bon Ami - it’s a powder found at the grocery store in a canister - usually right next to Bar Keeper’s friend (which also works relatively well. But we prefer Bon Ami - it uses less elbow grease, and less elbow grease means more cleaning stamina!). We’ve removed coffee stains, raspberry, blueberry, and strawberry stains, and marks from the bottom of pots and pans.
  • To disinfect:
    • Borax: buy it in the supermarket where they sell detergents - in my grocery store it’s next to the powdered dishwasher detergents. Borax is a powder and is safe to mix with virtually anything. Combine it with some vinegar, lemon juice, or just plain water to clean virtually anything. It’s completely harmless and safe to use. Gloves and ventilation not required (as opposed to bleach).
    • Vinegar: it disinfects, kills mold, bacteria, and germs. (As an aside: bleach does not kill mold - it just whitens it so you don’t see it. But bleach will leave living mold spores that will continue to grow.) Vinegar’s potency is released when combined with salt, so for a nice strong disinfectant add some salt to your vinegar, dilute with water if you’d like, and spray away. I just used it to clean the toilet seat in the bathroom where my little girl is potty-training. It works remarkably well.

Tip: After clothes have spun dry in the washer, hang them to dry in the sun. Sunshine is a natural bleach.


Finally, adding 1/4 cup of washing soda or borax to a load of wash will whiten whites and brighten colors.


 For household disinfecting, the best alternative to bleach is borax. Borax, baking soda and lemon juice combine to form an excellent cleaner and disinfectant. For bleaching clothes, dry oxygen bleach work well, as does borax. Or try adding 1/2 cup of white vinegar to your laundry load. If these fail to do the job, try non-chlorinated bleach.

If you are still sold on chlorine bleach, remember the following:

  • Never mix bleach with other cleaners
  • Always wear protective gloves when using bleach
  • Use only in well-ventilated areas with plenty of fresh air
  • Store bleach in a well-ventilated area away from children

These are a few recent pictures of Rylie.

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Have a great day & hugs to all my friends!
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Monday, July 30, 2007

A quick recipe for Remoulade Sauce to go with the crab cakes

Oops, I forgot to post this with the crab cake recipes.  I don't think I've ever had it, but since the recipes I posted recommended it I thought I better put a recipe for it on here.  I'll have to give it a try when I make the crab cakes.
Remoulade Sauce
This sauce is great with crab cakes. Add a little prepared horseradish if you like that flavor.
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions, white and green parts
2 tablespoons finely chopped sweet pickles
dash garlic powder
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon or Creole mustard
few drops Worcestershire sauce
pepper, to taste
Combine all ingredients. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to blend flavors and chill.
Makes about 1 cup sauce. Good with crab cakes, fish, fried seafood, etc..
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Recipe--Crab Cakes

I haven't had Crab Cakes in such a long time, so that's the recipe I decided to go with today.  Actually, I've only had them once and that was probably about 10 or more years ago.  But I loved them and decided it was time to get a recipe and make some myself.  So here are several of the recipes I found to try out.  Add some rice pilaf, green beans with toasted almonds and maybe some homemade rolls, Mmmmmmm!

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Allison's Maryland Crab Cakes
1 lb. Maryland Blue Claw Crab Meat
12 Saltine Crackers, crumbled
2 tbs Mayonnaise
1 tbs. Grey Poupon mustard
1 egg
Old Bay seasoning, according to taste
Maggi Seasoning - 5 drops or more to taste.

Clean crab; mix all ingredients. Form into patties. Bake on baking sheets, sprayed with Pam. Dot each crab cake with margarine. Bake at 400 for20 minutes or until browned. Serve with fresh lemon, tartar or/and cocktail sauce.

Savory Crab Cakes
Serve these tasty crab cakes with tartar sauce or a remoulade sauce, along with lemon wedges.

4 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Creole mustard
1/2 teaspoon Creole seasoning
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped green onion
2 teaspoons finely minced red bell pepper, optional
1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat
1 1/4 cup fresh fine bread crumbs, divided
Combine mayonnaise, mustard, parsley, and seasonings; set aside.

Drain crabmeat; gently squeeze to get as much of the liquid out as possible. Put crabmeat in a bowl. With a spatula or wooden spoon, fold in mayonnaise mixture and 1 cup of the bread crumbs, just until blended.

Shape into 8 crab cakes, about 2 1/2 inches in diameter. I use a biscuit or cookie cutter with an open top to shape the cakes and press the ingredients down to make them hold together. Press gently into reserved crumbs. Cover and chill for 1 to 2 hours.

Heat clarified butter or oil over medium heat. Fry crab cakes for about 5 minutes on each side, carefully turning only once. Serve with lemon wedges and Remoulade or other sauce.

Crab Cakes

Serve these flavorful crab cakes with remoulade or tartar sauce.
8 ounces lump crab meat
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 small clove garlic, finely minced, or dash garlic powder
1 tablespoon finely chopped red bell pepper
1 egg
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup soft bread crumbs
1 1/2 teaspoons Creole seasoning
4 tablespoons butter
Rinse and pick over crab meat, discarding any pieces of shell or cartilage. Try to leave lumps as large as possible. Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over low heat; slowly saute finely diced onion, celery, red pepper, and garlic until tender.
Whisk egg in bowl; add mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, and Creole seasoning. Combine with sauteed vegetables and soft bread crumbs, mixing well. Add the crab meat and form into loose patties; place on waxed paper-lined plate. Refrigerate for about 1 hour, or until firm. Heat remaining 4 tablespoons butter in large skillet over medium-low heat. Gently place crab cakes in skillet and cook for about 5 minutes. Turn and cook for 4 to 5 minutes longer, until cooked through. Serve with a remoulade sauce or tartar sauce. Serves 4.

Senator Barb Mikulski (from Maryland) Favorite Crab Cake Recipe
1 lb. jumbo lump or backfin crab meat
2 slices white bread
1 tbsp. mayonnaise (light or regular)
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. Old Bay or Wye River seasonings
1 tbsp. snipped parsley (optional)
1 egg (or substitute for special diets)
tartar sauce or cocktail sauce

Beat the egg in a bowl. Trim the crusts from the bread and break the slices into small pieces. Add these pieces to the egg. Mix in the mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, Chesapeake seasoning and parsley, and beat well.

Place the crabmeat in a bowl and pour the egg mixture over the top. Gently toss or fold the ingredients together, taking care not to break up the lumps of crabmeat.

Form the cakes by hand into patties about 3 inches around and 3/4-inch thick. Shape should be like a cookie, not like a meatball or golf ball. Place the cakes in the refrigerator for at least 45 minutes before cooking. This is very important so the cakes don't fall apart.

Broil the Crab Cakes:

Slip them under a preheated broiler until nicely browned, turning to cook evenly, about 4 to 5 minutes on each side.

Or saute:

Heat a small amount of butter or olive oil in a skillet and saute the cakes, turning several times, until golden brown or about 8 minutes total cooking time.

Serve at once with tartar sauce, mustard, or cocktail sauce on the side.  Serves 6 people
I also came across the following articles from Real Age and thought some of ya might find them interesting too.  I know a few people who are going to love to hear this information about Chocolate.
RealAge Tip of the DAY for July 30, 2007
•Can't Live Without Chocolate?

No problem. Scientists may one day claim you need the stuff to be at your healthiest.

It's a theory growing from a study of the diets of a small Indian tribe in the Panamanian islands. High blood pressure is virtually unheard of within the group. And tribe members drink three or four 10-ounce servings of cocoa per day. Coincidence?

Killer Compounds
The Panamanian tribe doesn't drink run-of-the-mill cocoa. Because of the gentle way they process their cocoa beans, their cocoa is chock-full of epicatechin, a flavonoid that helps widen and relax blood vessels. If the tribe's lack of high blood pressure (as well as other diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer) does turn out to be because of epicatechin, researchers speculate that the flavonoid could one day be given vitamin status.

Other Potential Reasons

 But before you buy stock in Hershey's, there's still research to be done. The tribe members also eat lots of fish and fruit, and their diet or their lifestyle -- or both -- may be part of the lack-of-disease equation. So far, researchers have ruled out genetics.

Bottom Line
What remains true:Flavonoids are good for your heart; lots of research points to this. But dark chocolate is just about your only hope for chocolate that hasn't had its flavonoids completely destroyed by processing. And if you need to cut calories to lose weight, a little bit of chocolate goes a long way.
RealAge Benefit: Getting 31 milligrams of flavonoids -- cocoa beans are naturally rich in them -- a day can make your RealAge 3.2 years younger.
However, another sweet treat has chocolates health boosting compounds without the fat...
RealAge Tip of the DAY for July 27, 2005
•Health-Happy Apples
Reach for the right apple to get ahead of the nutrition game.
Researchers recently assessed the antioxidant capacity of eight different apple varieties and found Red Delicious apples to be highest in two powerful flavonoids, epicatechin and procyanidin. These flavonoids are especially abundant in apple peels, so wash them well and eat the skins.
All apples pack a health punch, regardless of variety. Although much of the nutritional punch of apples is found in the skin, certain nutrients reside in the flesh, too. In recent studies, researchers found two powerful flavonoids in Red Delicious apples, but they were mainly in the skins. Another compound with strong antioxidant activity -- hydroxycinnamic acid -- was found in the flesh. Two phenols found in the apples, epicatechins and procyanidins, have superior antioxidant capacity and may help reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, and other conditions. Before you eat your apple, wash it thoroughly under running water with a vegetable brush to remove wax and contaminants.
RealAge Benefit: Getting the right amount of antioxidants through diet or supplements can make your RealAge 6 years younger.
So of course, my theory afterreading those articles in that everyday all of us should slice, at least, one apple and dip it in chocolate.  Go ahead...it's good for you!  Let's just call it our mid-afternoon antioxidant snack, lol.  I know of at least one person who will be over every afternoon to make sure she gets her healthy snack.  Right Cath?  LOL!
Well, for the past two weeks Rylie and I have spent alot of time visiting with Grandpa.  Since he has been moved to a new rehabilitation hospital he has been doing so much better.  We are all so thrilled with his progress.  We even have hope that he will be home for the holidays this year.  If not sooner.
This week though it is time to let Rylie be a kid and do some fun things.  So today I am going to pack a picnic and we are going to spend some fun time at the pool.  She loves doing that and it's been quite a while since we've spent some time there.  She has so much fun playing with all the other little kids. 
So today I am posting the lyrics to a special song just for Rylie.
Oh Mister Sun, Sun,
Mister Golden Sun,
Please shine down on me

Oh Mister Sun, Sun,
Mister Golden Sun,
Hiding behind a tree...

These little children
Are asking you
To please come out
So we can play with you

Oh Mister Sun, Sun,
Mister Golden Sun,
Please shine down on me!

Oh Mister Sun, Sun,
Mister Golden Sun,
Please shine down on me

Oh Mister Sun, Sun,
Mister Golden Sun,
Hiding behind a tree...

These little children
Are asking you
To please come out
So we can play with you

Oh Mister Sun, Sun,
Mister Golden Sun,
Please shine down on...
Please shine down on...
Please shine down on me!
Have a great day & hugs to all my friends!
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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Home Remedy--Fatigue

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Please remember that these are remedies that have either been mailed onto me, or that I have found on the Internet.  I haven't tried them all and cannot guarantee the effectiveness of them.  Of course, you should always check with your physician before starting any type of medical regimen.
  • Take a glass of grapefruit and lemon juice in equal parts to dispel fatigue and general tiredness after a day's work.

I know...Ewww!  I wonder if it would still work if I added some sugar to it.  Or better yet, a wee bit of gin and some 7-up!  Okay, I could handle that now, LOL.  Although the gin might be just the thing that would send me into a 2 hour nap. 

In doing some research to try to find other suggestions I also found sites that recommend doing a bit of exercise when your feeling tired.  That will get your endorphins going and re-charge you. 

Speaking of which, as soon as I get off this computer, I need to get my cardio done.  Here's the thing, the last time I went to the doctor my numbers weren't too good and he upped my blood pressure prescription dosage.  He also said that he thinks my chest pains and extreme fatigue have to do with some heart disease.

The ER doctor wanted me to have a stress test done.  My doctor said that a stress test on women doesn't give very accurate results.  The only way to definitely know is to have a particular test done.  I can't remember what test he said.  I think it was either a scan or something a bit more invasive.  But since I don't have insurance it isn't something that we will do anyway.

So he wants me to walk 2 miles every day.  Well, I've got a 3 year old...can you imagine how long that walk would take?  Especially since she hasn't wanted to sit in her stroller since she started walking.  She is a very independent little girl.  I also have a wee bit of a problem with arthritis in my knees.  So I've been using this glider contraption and trying to do it once or twice a day for 30 minutes at a time.  It still gets my heart rate up which I think is what he basically wants me to do.

It's not too bad, except that sometimes my feet slip and I feel like a completely uncoordinated goof.  But I turn on the radio and listen to that and the time goes pretty quickly.  It's best when Rylie sleeps late and then I have time to do everything I want to get done in the morning before she wakes up.

Well, it is about 8:30 so I better get moving and get on that contraption and get my time in before the wee one wakes up.  Ya understand that according to Rylie the world revolves around her and once she awakens I am to devote my every thought, word and deed to her, right?  LOL 

Have a great day & hugs to all my friends!
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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Recipes and cleaning tip

Good Morning!  I'm sorry I didn't make it in here yesterday.  Rylie and I went up to visit Papa yesterday morning and didn't get home until about 5pm.  It was a pretty long day and I didn't feel much like getting on the computer when we got home.
So I'm going to try to make up for it today by posting 3 recipes that sound pretty good for these long, hot summer days.  I hope you like them, I found them at the Pillsbury web site.
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Bread Boat with Crab Spread
Prep Time: 20 min ; Start to Finish: 1 hr 20 min
6 servings
A fresh-baked Pillsbury® crusty French loaf holds a tasty filling in an amazing appetizer that's perfect for a crowd.

1 can (11 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated crusty French loaf
1 cup shredded Asiago cheese (4 oz)
1 package (3 oz) cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons mayonnaise or salad dressing
1 tablespoon white wine Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
1 can (14 oz) artichoke hearts, drained, chopped
1 can (6 oz) crabmeat, well drained
1 jar (2 oz) diced pimiento, drained
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1 .
  Heat oven to 350°F. Bake French loaf as directed on can. Cool 30 minutes.

2 .
  In medium microwavable bowl, mix remaining ingredients except parsley. Set aside.

3 .
  Cut 1 inch from top of loaf. Cut top into 1-inch pieces; place in serving basket. With sharp knife, cut around inside of loaf, leaving 1/2-inch-thick sides. Remove bread, leaving inside of loaf hollow. Cut removed bread into 1-inch pieces; place in serving basket.
4 .
  Microwave cream cheese mixture uncovered on Medium (50%) 3 to 4 minutes or until hot, stirring twice. Spoon hot mixture into hollowed-out loaf. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve spread with bread pieces and/or crackers.
Vary the flavor by substituting Swiss or pepper Jack cheese for the Asiago cheese.

Shrimp Salad Pita-Wiches
Prep Time: 25 min ; Start to Finish: 40 min
5 sandwiches  
Delicate curry flavors this fruited shrimp salad served in freshly baked biscuit pockets.

2/3 cup sliced almonds
1 (10.2-oz.) can (5 biscuits) Pillsbury® Grands!® Homestyle Refrigerated Buttermilk Biscuits or Flaky Layers Refrigerated Original Biscuits
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions (8 medium)
1 lb. cooked deveined shelled shrimp, tail shells removed, shrimp coarsely chopped
1/2 cup salad dressing or mayonnaise
1 cup firm red seedless grapes, quartered
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Garnish, if desired
5 large lettuce leaves
3 cups mixed fruit

1 .
  Heat oven to 375°F. Spread almonds on ungreased cookie sheet; bake at 375°F. for 2 to 5 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from cookie sheet; cool.

2 .
  Separate dough into 5 biscuits. Press each into 4 1/2-inch round; place on same ungreased cookie sheet.

3 .
  Bake at 375°F. for 8 to 11 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove from cookie sheet; place on wire rack. Cool 15 minutes. Meanwhile, reserve 2 tablespoons toasted almonds and 2 tablespoons onions for garnish. In large bowl, mix remaining toasted almonds, remaining onions and all remaining sandwich ingredients.

4 .
  With knife, cut along side of each cooled biscuit about halfway around; open gently to form pocket. Spoon rounded 3/4 cup shrimp mixture into each biscuit pocket. Sprinkle reserved almonds and onions over top. Serve each sandwich on lettuce leaf with mixed fruit on the side.

Grilled Chicken Salad with Raspberries
Prep Time: 30 min ; Start to Finish: 30 min
2 servings 
Make this restaurant-fancy salad for two in just 30 minutes.

2 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam
1 1/2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 bag (10-oz size) American blend mixed salad greens
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
2 Pillsbury® Oven Baked frozen soft white dinner rolls

1 .
  Heat gas grill or coals. In medium bowl, stir together jam, vinegar, honey and oil. Reserve one-third of the mixture for dressing. Add chicken to remaining mixture, tossing to coat. Let stand at room temperature 10 minutes.

2 .
  When ready to grill, remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Place chicken on gas grill over medium heat or on charcoal grill over medium coals. Cook 10 to 12 minutes, turning once, until juice of chicken is clear when center of thickest part is cut (170°F). Sprinkle with pepper. To heat dinner rolls, place rolls in foil on grill during last 6 to 7 minutes of cooking time.

3 .
  In large bowl, toss salad greens and reserved dressing. Divide between 2 serving plates. Slice each chicken breast crosswise into slices; do not separate slices. Fan chicken slices; arrange 1 breast on salad greens on each plate. Garnish with raspberries. Serve with dinner rolls.
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Microwave Odors: Keep a cup of baking soda in the microwave between uses to keep potatoes from smelling like bacon or other unusual combinations!
We had an excellent weekend.  Samantha's kareoke birthday party was a lot of fun.  Grandma stayed here until we closed down at almost 2:30 in the morning.  I think, and hope, she had a lot of fun.  It was probably good for her to get away for a wee bit and forget all her troubles and just have some fun. 
The chocolate fountain went over real well.  Especially with Rylie.  Apparently she loves her chocolate as much as her Aunt Cathy.  LOL  I was standing in the kitchen, about 40 minutes before people were going to start arriving, fixing the pasta salad.  Unfortunately my back was to the fountain machine, which I had running.  When I turned around there stood Rylie with a bowl, some pretzels and chocolate covering her hands completely and some how all over her legs.
OMG!  I grabbed her and ran her into the bathroom to start cleaning her up.  But when I picked her up, as I was yelling, she reached up and grabbed my head.  Yep!  People will be showing up within 40 minutes and I now had chocolate covered hair.  UGH!  Clean the chocolate dipped kid up quick and throw some clean clothes on her....run and call Aunt Cathy...I tell her the story and ask her "Can you please come and pick up your niece so I can take a shower?"....when she gets done laughing her butt off she tells me she will be right over....BTW, Ray and Sammi were at the store picking up last minute beverages.  Cathy comes and gets Rylie, I go back in and start cleaning the chocolate that Rylie had splattered here and there, and the trail leading to my bathroom.
Ray and Sam get home and I run to take a quick shower as there is now about 20 minutes until people get here.  Whew!  Get out, run a comb through my hair, put on a bit of mascara and bronzer, throw onsome clothes that aren't covered in chocolate and I'm ready.
Other than the bumpy start to the evening, it was a lot of fun.  I hope we can do something similar again soon.  Well, not too soon.  LOL  But sometime within the next month or two.
Have a great day & hugs to all my friends!
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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Love and how to fight

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This is a tag I made and posted in my other journal, Coloring inside the Lines, without our names on it.

I thought the following article that I read at ediets would be good to post along with this graphic.

How to Fight -- and How Not To
By Kathleen McGowan
Psychology Today
Updated: Saturday, July 21, 2007

When you get right down to it, most arguments follow a pattern that's all too familiar. Boiled down, the essence of many quarrels goes something like this: I'm right. You're wrong. And I absolutely positively will not back down or change the subject until you admit it.

So many arguments are so pointless. They start over something small and dumb: He forgot to pick up milk on the way home. She criticized him in front of his mother. He made plans without asking her first.

But they quickly escalate: You never listen to me. You're inconsiderate. You're mean. You're a loser.

In the midst of one of these arguments, you often find yourself demanding that your partner agree with you, insisting that she accept your interpretation of the facts, relentlessly pushing your point.

It's mindless, it's not going to work -- and you know it. But you can't stop.

At the moment, it seems absolutely unacceptable that this other person—whether it's a mother, a husband or a best friend—disagrees. It's an outgrowth of the basic need that we all have to be close to and understood by the people we love the most, says psychologist Anthony Wolf, Ph.D. During arguments, that feeling can get out of control.

Arguments aren't inherently bad. Conflict is often how we sort out what we really want from what we're willing to compromise on. Ingood arguments, the terms may not exactly be kind and gentle, the language not always respectful and there may not be closure, but the argument has a beginning and an end.

Stupid arguments are something else. They take the shape of loops, endlessly replaying the conflicts in your relationship without resolving them, says Wolf, author of Why Can't You Shut Up?: How We Ruin Relationships — How Not To. In the heat of the moment, the subject of the argument leaps from the original disagreement over how you parked the car to some global indictment of how selfish you are to how you're just like your mother.

Winning the argument becomes the most important thing in the world. At that point, we'll say anything -- even when it's mean, humiliating and damaging to the relationship.

How can you get out of this cycle? First, you have to recognize the number one warning sign: The feeling that you absolutely must get your partner to see it your way. "The feeling is, 'I can't shut up, I can't move on and I can't leave it,'" says Wolf. "Recognizing that feeling and giving it a label allows you to be able to step outside of it." It comes from an irrational, but powerful fear of being alone -- of being misunderstood or abandoned by people we count on the most.

When you start to feel that you must get the other person to agree with you at all costs, you know you must stop arguing. Follow these guidelines:

Think: Is there anything that could be gained from the argument at this point? If the answer is no, it's time to stop talking, no matter how angry you are.

Don't repeat yourself. Making your point once is much more powerful than repeating it over and over again. This applies in work situations too. Think of yourself like a lawyer presenting a brief. Say what you think, then keep your mouth shut. "Anything further that you say at this point is going to screw up your best chance at a good outcome," says Wolf.

Don't respond to retorts that are designed to make you angry. Ignore them. If your partner or father or friend baits you by saying something like: "You're just like your mother" or "You always say that!" recognize it for what it is and tune it out.

When you hand out advice, don't require the other person to recognize it as the most brilliant suggestion ever. Just say it and move on.

Above all, get used to the idea that the best outcome of an argument is that it ends. Don't cling to the unrealistic expectation that you'll be able to resolve the problem or get the other person to see it your way. Conciliation doesn't happen when two people are face to face, Wolf says. It happens in your own head, hours or days after the fight.

Maybe you'll be able to resolve the issue a couple of weeks later, when the feelings have died down. But many arguments never to do get settled. That's normal. "In the best relationships, there remain serious pockets of unresolved bitterness," says Wolf. Learning how to argue -- and learning how to stop -- will prevent these disagreements from damaging your relationship.
Tonight is the kareoke party for Sammi's birthday.  I've got to get going here and get some stuff done as I also have a baby shower to go to this afternoon.
Have a great day & hugs to all my friends!
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Friday, July 20, 2007

Don't you just hate the question...

Don't you just hate when people ask "How old are you?"  Ugh!  And wouldn't we all love to be able to say something that was 5-10 years younger than we actually are?  Well, there is this theory about your REAL AGE.  It has to do with how healthy you are, etc.  You can take the Real Age Test at the REAL AGE web site.  It is really kind of interesting, although depending on your medical concerns, it can be a bit in depth and perhaps a little long.

Anyway, here are a few articles that I recently came across from the REAL AGE web site that I thought were interesting.  The first one I used to do all the time, especially in the car or when I use to go to the tanning booth.  I wonder if I could do it when I am on the cardio machine?  Hmm, not sure if I am that coordinated, lol.

Do This Exercise While You Web Surf
Wouldn't it be nice to have the washboard abs you saw in that online diet ad?

You can start by squeezing. No, not your abdominal's. Your booty! Here's the three-step exercise you can do all day.

Do It Now -- And Wherever You Can
Yes, while you're reading this tip, try this exercise for flatter abs:
  1. Suck your belly button in tight.
  2. Squeeze your butt as if you're trying to pull on a pair of too-tight jeans (pretend the top of your head is being pulled toward the ceiling by a string).
  3. Hold that position.

Do this often (on the elevator, waiting in line, at work, every time you walk somewhere) and you'll quickly firm up your middle by working your transverse abdomens -- the muscle that supports the abdominal wall. And you'll have better posture to boot.

RealAge Benefit: A physical activity program that builds stamina, strength, and flexibility can make your RealAge as much as 8.1 years younger.

3 Veggies That Make Your Brain Younger
Broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage. Consider them a facelift for your brain.

That's because munching on veggies like these -- which belong to the cruciferous family of veggies -- could shave 1 to 2 years off your mind's age. Here's how they help.

The Big Memory Reveal
Women who filled out a food-intake questionnaire demonstrated some pretty significant memory
muscle on tests when their questionnaires revealed a true love for all things cruciferous (as well as leafy and green, like spinach). In fact, the veggie-lovers’ test scores were more in line with those of women a couple of years younger. That means your brain could be 48 when the calendar says it’s 50. Not bad. How’s your memory? Test it here.

Mighty Nutrients
Researchers speculate that nutrients like lutein and folate
, found in abundance in foods like spinach, may be part of the reason for the brain benefits that cruciferous and leafy green veggies confer.

Want more ways to boost your memory? Visit the RealAge Aging Well Center.

RealAge Benefit: Eating a diverse diet that includes 5 servings of vegetables per day can make your RealAge as much as 4 years younger.

It's Friday!  YEA!  That means a fun evening spent with my Tinkerbell!  I talked to her again last night, after she got off work, and she is almost as excited as I am about tonight.  Tomorrow we are gonna have a kareoke party to celebrate her birthday.  I know, I know...kareoke night...sounds kind of corny to most folks.  But it is actually a lot of fun.  I just have to make sure the machine is hooked up correctly and find all the kareoke cd's.

Instead of making a cake I am going to use my new chocolate fountain.  Mmmm!  I've got fruits and some other things we are going to be dipping in there.  Then by Sunday morning everyone will probably be 5 pounds heavier, lol.  I think I'll just have to keep my eye on Cathy.  I know how much she loves chocolate.  My fear is that we will find her overdosed on chocolate with her head under the fountain so it can flow right into her mouth, lol.  Just kidding Cath!

Have a great day & hugs to all my friends!
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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Okay, this is the little video that I made for Sammi's birthday.  I hope she likes it, and I hope I am putting it one here the right way.

Happy Birthday Tinkerbell!

Home Remedy- Facial cleansers and Mask recipes

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Please remember that these are remedies that have either been mailed onto me, or that I have found on the Internet.  I haven't tried them all and cannot guarantee the effectiveness of them.  Of course, you should always check with your physician before starting any type of medical regimen.

Facial Cleanser Recipes

  • Mix 2 Tbls. cornstarch, 2 Tbls. glycerin, and 1/2 cup water until smooth. Heat in a small pan placed in a water bath inside another pan. Heat until thick and clear; it will have the consistency of pudding. Do not boil. Cool completely, Use in place of soap to cleanse your skin. (If mixture is too thick, you may thin it by adding a little water, 1 Tbls. at a time, until you reach the desired consistency.)
  • For a gentle facial cleanser mix 1/2 cup oatmeal or cornmeal and plain yogurt (add enough yogurt to form a paste).   Smooth over entire face avoiding eye area. Wash off with warm water.
  • Oat and Brown Sugar Scrub- Mix 2 Tbsp. ground oats, 2 tsp. brown sugar, 2 Tbsp. aloe vera and 1 tsp. lemon juice in a clean bowl until you have a smooth paste. Gently massage onto damp skin, and rinse off with warm water. You can triple the recipe for a fantastic smoothing body treatment.   **Ground Oats: use rolled oats and a clean coffee grinder or blender to grind the flakes to a fine powder.
Facial Mask Recipes
  • Apple Facial Mask (oily skin that is acne prone)  Mix 1 medium size apple (grated), 5 tablespoons of honey to make a mask. Smooth over skin then let sit for 10 minutes, rinse off with cool water.
  • Banana Facial Mask (dry skin)  Mash 2 bananas with a fork...dont over mash or it will be too runny. Add some honey* if desired. Smooth over skin, let sit for 10 minutes, rinse off with cool water.
  • Peach Facial Mask (normal skin)  Cook 1 peach until its soft, mash with a fork, add 1 Tbs honey and oatmeal until its a thick consistency. Apply to skin. Let sit for 10 minutes, rinse well with cool water.
Oatmeal is highly absorptive, hypoallergenic, and helps to soften skin. Oats have the best amino acid balance of all the cereal grains (amino acids work as water-binding agents in skin care products). Oats have also been clinically shown to help heal dry, itchy skin. Oat grains and straw appear in shampoos, dusting powders, moisturizers, and cleansing bars and more.
I've been working on a little birthday video for Sammi because today is her 19th birthday.  Unfortunately to upload it I have to have in saved a particular way and I haven't been able to figure it out yet.  I'll get it posted as soon as I get it figured out.

Sammi and I have plans to do some birthday shopping tomorrow.  It is something that we haven't been able to do much of for the past several years and I am very excited.  I love spending time with her.  She is such an awesome kid.  By the way, she is at her new job.  No more working 2 jobs as this one is really great and she will have full benefits after the first 90 days.  I am so proud of her. 

                         I love ya Tink!

Have a great day & hugs to all my friends!
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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Microwave cleaning tip, Benefits of a cleaning schedule, organization and supplies

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Microwave Filth:
Food splatters all over the inside of your microwave and cooks itself on after time. To easily remove this mess, place a sponge soaked in water or just a dish filled with 1/2 cup water in the microwave. Cook on high heat for 2 minutes. The filth is now ready to be wiped right off - no scrubbing!

Repeat Entry:
I originally made this entry (the part written in blue) in November of 2005.  I went back through it and decided it was worth posting again with some additions (the part written in brown).  I think when we are young and get our first place that we don't really appreciate how much work it takes to keep a clean and well organized home. 
Oh, it's easy to throw all (darks, whites and colors) in the washer in one or two huge loads and get the clothes washed.  Then how clean did those clothes really get in that heavy oversized load, that wears the washer down, when the cycle is done?  LOL, that's why so many young people walk around in those nasty looking dingy gray shirts, that used to be white. 
Or it's easy to toss all the junk into a corner in the bedroom, or front closet where no one can see it when they show up.  But take a closer look.  How deep are the dust fields on the furniture?  How many trails of ants are traipsing across the floor?  Look up...how many cobwebs are dangling from the ceiling and walls?  (I'm only 5' 3 and 3/4" tall, and that is one that I often forget or don't notice.)  Are the bugs riding wee little sleds down the slopes of dust on the lamp shades? 
I believe that being a housewife and mother is a full-time job.  The key to being successful at any job is organization.   

When one gets their first own place it is a good idea to sit down with pen and paper and make a plan, a schedule if you will.  I think it is much easier to get organized and keep things clean if you have a plan.  As time goes by, you will most likely be able to get rid of a written schedule as you become used to your schedule of doing things every week and it becomes a part of your everyday life.  

The daily and weekly chores may seem mundane, but they really do make a difference.  Some of the things that I do each and every morning are the ones that make everything seem a little less dis-organized and cleaner.  1) Make my bed---the room looks ten times cleaner.  2) Clean the kitchen sink---just like making the bed, when the sink is clean the kitchen appears much cleaner.  3) Do at least one load of laundry---that way it doesn't have a chance to accumulate into this seemingly overwhelming chore. 4)Give the living room a quick once over---it's the room everyone ends up in and when it's messy, the whole house feels "messy".

Those aren't my only daily chores.  But they are the ones that I do at least once every day, if not more than once, that seem to help me feel more organized.  If I stay on top of the other chores, then on some days I may be able to do those 4 little things and maybe one or two other chores, then be free to spend the day doing something with Rylie. 

Grab a calendar and take a look at it.  There are times when you will want to major cleaning.  For instance, perhaps May would be a good time to wash the windows.  Also to shampoo the winter gunk out of your carpets.  Every 6 months, or so, you should also turn the mattress on your bed over to keep it from developing those saggy spots.   

Then come the end of October or the beginning of November do it again.  This is a good time for me because the holidays are coming up and I like to have the carpets cleaned around then.  Write these chores down when you want to do them on the calendar.  

Monthly cleaning chores may include things like cleaning the refrigerator, dusting the cabinet with all the little knick-knacks, changing your box of baking soda in the refrigerator and behind the toilet (I keep one there for odors), etc.  Pick a good date like the first Saturday of every month and write it down on your calendar for every month.  

Take a look at the things that you need to do every other week or so.  This is going to be different for different people.  It will depend on how clean you like things and on how big your family is.  For instance, a single woman living alone might only need to clean her bathroom every other week.  But a large family may need need to do it once a week.  If it is a large family with 6 boys, they'll probably need to clean the bathroom every day! LOL   

Now look at the chores you do weekly and daily.  Write them down and approximately how much time it takes to do them and how many times a week you need to do them.  Now that you have a list of what you want to do weekly and daily, make a schedule for yourself.  

Write down the days of the week and when you think it will be best for you to do each chore.  Be sure to include simple things, even if it only takes a minute.  For example, I make my bed every morning before I get into the shower.  I can't stand for my bed to be unmade.  The rest of the room may be a disaster, but the moment your bed gets made you will notice the room looks much, much better.  

Once you have the schedule made you may find that being organized and having a set schedule actually helps you to save time in your day.  As I said, as you repeatedly do it over and again every week, it will just become routine and you probably won't need a written schedule.  

But then ya'll might think this is just silly.  I can be anal retentive sometimes.  I am one of those people who makes a list of what I need to do every day, who I want to call, what I want to get at the store (organized by the order of the aisles in the store).  Heck, even my underwear are folded!  How sick is that?  LMAO!  

I believe that children learn by example, and being organized and keeping some kind of schedule is a great trait to pass onto your kids.  Even though she is just 3 yers old, Rylie is a great helper.  It isn't often that I even have to ask her to help me.  She will usually just walk up and start helping me with whatever chore I am working on.  I think it is wonderful that she does that.  I believe it is because she see's that we each have our part to do around the house and she wants to participate and help us out.  I sure could have used a little helper like that when I spent the last 3 months of my pregnancy on doctor ordered bed rest.  Maybe then I wouldn't have needed surgery to save the baby and ended up in the hospital for the last 40 days.

I found this schedule of housecleaning at Click here: Ask The Helpful Housewife: Requested Routines .  Its a good plan to follow if you need an idea of where to start.  Of course, your home may be bigger or smaller, just adjust it to fit your needs.  I think it would be a great idea to print out the list as a helpful reminder.  After some time everything will just become second nature and you won't need the list any longer.  Also you will find some things that you don't need to do and some that you may want to add to your list.

Daily Cleaning Master Checklist

Entry Areas
Shake out rugs

Wipe down counters
Wipe down sink
Sweep floor
Take out trash every night
Hang wet dish cloths in laundry room

Living Areas
Pick up miscellaneous clutter

Air beds in early morning
Make beds in late morning
Pick up laundry and put in hampers
Hang clothing that can be worn again
Remove water glasses to kitchen

Wipe down counters, sinks
Hang towels to dry 
Pick up laundry and put in hampers

Master Cleaning Checklist
(full housecleaning)

Master Bedroom
change bedding
ceiling fan
empty wastebasket
lamps and shades

Master Bathroom
mop floor in water closet
change towels
straighten closet
empty wastebasket

Kids' Bedrooms
change bedding
empty wastebasket

Kids’ Bathroom
mop floor
change towels
empty wastebasket
clean training potty chair

Guest Room
change bedding
empty wastebasket

Hallway – second floor
dust banister

dust railings

Entryway & Hallway – first floor
shake rugs outside
clean door handles and surfaces
sweep front porch

empty shredder & wastebasket
panes on french doors

Living Room
lamps and shades

Dining Room

Half Bath
mop floor
empty wastebasket
clean training potty chair

cabinet faces
appliances (countertop and full-size)
sweep floor
mop floor
empty trash
built-in desk
bleach countertop fountain
wash throw rugs
sliding glass door

Family Room
ceiling fan
lint brick over furniture
lamps & shades
swiffer fireplace tile

Laundry Room
clean washer & dryer
cabinet faces
litter box
cat food dishes
sweep floor
mop floor
shake rugs outside
clean door handles and surfaces

Also, are you a smoker?  Be sure to empty the ash trays daily.  Not only do they look nasty, but having them sitting around contributes to the smell of smoke in your home.

Something else that you may find useful is a list of cleaning supplies to keep on hand.Just as you have a toolbox with a hammer, a flathead screwdriver and other home repair essentials, you should have an area that you keep stocked with cleaning supplies.   That way, you will not always have to hunt down or go out and buy what you need when it is time to clean a specific area or object.
Here is a basic list:

1. A broom
2. A dustpan
3. A good mop
4. A vacuum cleaner. Even if you do not have carpets, you will need at least a small vacuum cleaner to clean your drapes and upholstery.
5. Several dishcloths and dust rags. Demote sink sponges down to cleaning sponges, also wash clothes that begin to fray or old tee shirts.
6. Nylon cleaning pads. These work better than sponges for cleaning stubborn stains, & do not scratch counters or appliances.
7. Gloves. They will protect your hands from germs and chemicals. For an added bonus, try putting cream on your hands first. After you finish cleaning, your hands will be nice and soft. It is also good to have a pair of cotton gloves handy for cleaning between the slats of mini blinds, if you have them.
8. A wood cleaner for cleaning wood floors and woodwork in general. Murphy's Oil Soap is a good one.
9. An old toothbrush. This is great for getting the crud between crevices that are otherwise unreachable.
10. Baking soda. This product can absorb smells from your refrigerator and freezer, deodorize your drains, and serve as a carpet freshener, among other uses.
11. Bleach. Bleach can be kept in a spray bottle and used for stubborn stains on white grout, or can be added in small amounts to spray bottles of water to disinfect counters and other surfaces. Just be sure to label the bottle BLEACH and don't add other chemicals to it as some will cause a caustic reaction.
12. Clear vinegar. Vinegar is not only an economical way to clean windows, but if used to clean pet stains, can cover the smell, thus deterring the pet from soiling the same area again.
13. Scouring powder, such as Comet.
14. A feather or lambs wool duster. Thelamb'swool variety is more expensive, but they attract dust the best.
15. A non-abrasive cream cleanser, such as Softscrub.
16. A degreasing cleaning spray.
17. Glass cleaner, such as Windex. 
18. Toilet bowl cleaner.
19. Salt. You can use it with ice to clean out a grimy coffee carafe, or combine it in a three to one ratio with lemon juice to create an effective polish for brass or copper. It is also good for soaking up stains on carpet before they have a chance to set in.
20. Rubbing alcohol. You can use this for removing those annoying stickers that won't come off of new purchases, as well as removing stickers from windows and other non-wood surfaces. Also great for removing ink stains.
21. Oven cleaner. Unless you never use your oven, this will come in handy for getting those baked on spots off. Be sure not to breathe the fumes, as they can be quite strong.
22. Liquid laundry detergent.
23. Dishwashing liquid. Of course you will need it for the dishes that you wash by hand, but you can also use it to clean your floors, and most other surfaces as well.
24. Furniture polish. This is perfect for giving a finished look to your furniture. Be careful not to overuse it, as it can attract dust and become sticky if over applied.
25. Canned air. This is essential for cleaning the dust and other particles out of your computer keyboard. It can also help with crevices around buttons on televisions and other appliances as well. Use in a well-ventilated area.
* I also like to keep at least one extra bottle of shaving cream on hand.  It is great at removing stains from carpet and also clothing.  I also use it as a cream whenever I feel a cold sore coming on.

Have a great day & hugs to all my friends!
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Monday, July 16, 2007


I found this recipe while wandering around the Internet.  It's a bit time consuming, but sounds like it would be very much worth the effort. 

Original recipe yield:
18 doughnuts
READY IN  2 Hrs 40 Min
2 (.25 ounce) envelopes active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/3 cup shortening
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 quart vegetable oil for frying
1/3 cup butter
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
4 tablespoons hot water or as needed
Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water, and let stand for 5 minutes, or until foamy.
In a large bowl, mix together the yeast mixture, milk, sugar, salt, eggs, shortening, and 2 cups of the flour. Mix for a few minutes at low speed, or stirring with a wooden spoon. Beat in remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough no longer sticks to the bowl. Knead for about 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Place the dough into a greased bowl, and cover. Set in a warm place to rise until double. Dough is ready if you touch it, and the indention remains.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and gently roll out to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with a floured doughnut cutter. Let doughnuts sit out to rise again until double. Cover loosely with a cloth.
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in confectioners' sugar and vanilla until smooth. Remove from heat, and stir in hot water one tablespoon at a time until the icing is somewhat thin, but not watery. Set aside.
Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large heavy skillet to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Slide doughnuts into the hot oil using a wide spatula. Turn doughnuts over as they rise to the surface. Fry doughnuts on each side until golden brown. Remove from hot oil, to drain on a wire rack. Dip doughnuts into the glaze while still hot, and set onto wire racks to drain off excess. Keep a cookie sheet or tray under racks for easier clean up.

From what I read about this recipe, the end product is suppose to be very similar to those famous Krispy doughnuts.  If you do try it out, please come back and let everyone know what you think of the doughnut recipe.  Thanks!

My mom would occasionally make doughnuts on the weekend.  However, it was a much quicker and easier way.  Take one can of ready to bake biscuits and separate them.  Make holes using a pop bottle lid, or something of similar size.  Drop the doughnuts and holes into hot oil.  Let cook until golden.  Dip in cinnamon sugar or powder sugar. 

I remember mom making these on weekends at the lake.  We loved the doughnut holes.  Mmmm.  Sometimes we would stretch out the dough and braid it or twist it before dropping in the oil.  Those made good dunking doughnuts.


Onto a completely different subject that has really been bothering me lately.  Drugs.  Do you realize that while many of us are working to have a nice home and take care of our children and responsibilities, that there are people out there milking the system so they can spend their money on drugs?  They don't work.  They collect from the system  and many times they sell or trade their food stamps, or whatever, so they can get their drugs.  Yes, you pay your taxes so that many people can use the system to continue to do their precious little drug habit. I wonder how many children in the system have parents who don't, or can't take care of them because of drugs.

It is amazing to me that people know the risk of using drugs and yet they will still "try" it just so they can experience it "once".  Then they do it again and think they are in control of the situation.  Let's be clear, once you do a drug and it works it's little "magic" on you...you are NO LONGER in control.  You have let an illegal & dangerous substance take control over your mind and body for a period of time.  How crazy is that?

Not only that, but you have killed some very precious brain cells, and will continue to do so each time you use.  Something that some people can't afford to do.  I don't understand why anyone would do that, and frankly I don't want to understand it.  It is stupid, ignorant and selfish to spend hard earned money on a substance that will control you and destroy brain cells.  You have no idea the first time you try something what it is going to do to you.  Whether or not you are going to become addicted to it.  So why take the freaking chance?! 

Go downtown and take a look at all the homeless people and the prostitutes.  Is that what you want out of life?  No, that doesn't happen to everyone.  Some just end up being unable to hold down a job and mooch off of everyone else.  Expecting the people around them to take care of them so they can go smoke or shoot up.  Or perhaps they end up in jail, where once again our tax dollars feed them, house them and provide them with medical care.  Some people are lucky and don't like it and never use again.  Or some just die the very first time, not knowing what chemicals they are putting into their body. 

Come on people, these drugs are not created in a sterile environment.  They are made by other junkies, in a dirty garage or shed, with dangerous chemicals.  Why in the heck would you smoke something, that if you drank it would poison you?!  I just don't understand how people can be so stupid.  And it isn't even just that people are so dumb that they will do this...but they actually pay people for the 50/50 chance of either getting high or dying.  OMG!  Freaking Idiots!

If your concerned that someone you know and/or love may be using, here is a list of signs & symptoms that may be useful from HelpGuide.org

What are the signs and symptoms of drug addiction and abuse?

The more drug use begins to affect and control a person's life, the more likely it is that he or she has a drug problem. Unfortunately, substance abusers are often the last ones to recognize their own symptoms of dependence and addiction. If you suspect that a friend or loved one is abusing drugs, it's important to remember that drug abusers often try to conceal their symptoms and downplay their problem. But there are a number of warning signs you can look for:

  • Inability to relax or have fun without doing drugs. 
  • Sudden changes in work or school attendance and quality of work or grades.
  • Frequently borrowing money, selling possessions, or stealing items from employer, home, or school.
  • Angry outbursts, mood swings, irritability, manic behavior, or overall attitude change.
  • Talking incoherently or making inappropriate remarks.
  • Deterioration of physical appearance and grooming.
  • Wearing sunglasses and/or long sleeve shirts frequently or at inappropriate times.
  • No longer spending time with friends who don't use drugs and/or associating with known users.
  • Engaging in secretive or suspicious behaviors, such as making frequent trips to the restroom, basement, or other isolated areas where drug use would be undisturbed. 
  • Talking about drugs all the time and pressuring others to use.
  • Expressing feelings of exhaustion, depression, and hopelessness.
  • Using drugs first thing in the morning.

You can read the entire article at Drug Abuse and Addiction: Signs, Symptoms & Effects.  It is pretty interesting reading.  If you go further down the page you will see a list of drugs that are most commonly used and the effects of them.  If you have concerns about someone using I would definately recommend reading more.

Have a great day & hugs to all my friends!
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Friday, July 13, 2007

Mothers and Daughters

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I came across that saying in an advertisement.  I really liked it and chose to use it in this graphic.  I've also posted it, without my mom and daughters names, in my Coloring Inside the Lines journal if anyone wants to snag it.

Have a wonderful weekend!
Hugs to all my friends!
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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Tips to look younger

Since this mornings home remedy tip was about dry skin I thought I would include these tips from ediets on looking younger.

1. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. You’ve heard it before, but using a regular face lotion will make the skin appear younger by helping it to retain moisture, which in turn helps to plump up fine lines and increase circulation. When your hands, legs or feet are dry and cracked, they look older and worn out. Add a little cream and the skin is renewed. The same goes for your face.

If you have normal to combination skin, pick a lightweight formula that sinks in so it doesn’t feel heavy. Try Olay Complete All Day Moisture for Normal Skin ($9.29, walgreens.com). Dry skin types can use a little more hydration, so consider a cream like Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream ($6.49, drugstore.com).

Even if you have oily skin, use an oil-free moisturizer to keep skin looking young. You may not think you need one in your 20s, 30s or even 40s, but later on in life you will notice the difference. If you’re thinking, “I don’t use a moisturizer because it’s too greasy and heavy,” then you just haven’t found the right one for your skin type. The right moisturizer should make your skin feel soft and comfortable. Next time you’re in the cosmetics department, look or ask for samples. There are a million and one products out there, but there is also one that’s just right for you.

I've gotten real serious about moisturizing in the last several years.  I don't spend a bunch of money on this though.  I often pick up my moisturizer at the dollar store.  I like cocoa or shea butter.  I only wear foundation in the winter, and when I do, I usually mix it with some moisturizer so it feels alot lighter and not so "cakey".
Or I will buy that lightly tinted moisturizer.  I really like that as I don't feel as though I need to use foundation then.

2. Keep out of the sun! Ever notice how most celebrities manage to look tan and young at the same time? Their secret is not baking out in the sun for hours at a time -- they really don’t have time to do that anyway – it’s sunless tanning. Regular tanning, whether it be in the sun or in tanning beds, not only causes sun damage and cancer, but also leads to premature aging. What does that mean to you? Wrinkles! So, take a hint from the stars by wearing an SPF daily and use a sunless tanner indoors to keep the skin golden and line free.

Okay, I have to be honest and admit that I don't follow this rule.  I always feel so much better, healthier and happier, after I've been out in the sun.  Although, I always slather that highest level of SPF on Rylie when we go out.

3. Drink water like it’s going out of style. This is also a no-brainer, but it’s nice to be reminded once in a while. Water helps our bodies perform basic functions, and helps keep us healthy by providing a helpful environment for cells to do their duties. This also leads to younger-looking skin. Your skin cells will be full of water, which, like a moisturizer, helps to plump up fine lines and reduces puffiness around the eyes.
I agree with that one.  Not only is it good for your skin, but it helps eliminate all kinds of toxins from your body.  Have you heard that little tidbit of information from Dr. Oz on drinking water?  You know your drinking enough water if your urine is clear enough to read a newpaper through it.  Um, I wouldn't recommend actually trying to do that though.  Icky!

4. Don’t leave the house without a little makeup! When we were in our teens and 20s, we could run out of the house without a stitch of makeup and still look fabulous. Unfortunately, we can’t stay 18 forever, and our faces need a little help sometimes. You’d be surprised what a little concealer, bronzer and lipstick can do. Crunched for time in the morning? This routine takes less than three minutes. Dab a little concealer under the eyes and on spots like pimples and blemishes. Blend with fingers. Next, apply bronzer with a big, fluffy brush to the cheeks, nose, forehead and chin. Lastly, swipe a little lipstick on, and you’re ready to go. If you have time, use a lipliner first. See, wasn’t that easy? Now that we know makeup is our friend, it’s also good to remember that…

5. Too much makeup can make you look older. It’s easy to get a little carried away with the concealer, blush, bronzer, lipstick and whatever else we use to get ready in the morning, especially when you feel like you haven’t gotten enough sleep. But, before you pile on that foundation, get into some natural sunlight, or a well-lit area of your home. If you take a minute between steps to check your progress as you’re applying, you may notice you don’t need as much makeup as you thought. Natural-yet-polished makeup will help you look younger by enhancing your best assets and camouflaging your flaws. Too much makeup will actually draw attention to fine lines and wrinkles.
I almost always have a wee bit of make-up on.  I at least wear a natural looking eye shadow, mascara and lip gloss or chap stick.  In the winter I usually also wear some blush or a bit of bronzer.
I've learned that at a certain age wearing "frosty" looking eye shadows is a no-no.  That stuff will make you look real old and wrinkly.  I quit wearing that stuff the year I turned 30, lol.

6. Use an eye cream regularly. The skin around the eyes is the first place to show signs of aging, so it’s important to take extra care of this area, even if you don’t yet have any lines. When applying eye creams, use a small amount (that’s why they come in those teeny jars) and use your ring finger to dab and spread the product around. It’s OK if the area is a little shiny, but if it feels heavy to you, switch to a lighter texture or reserve it for nighttime use.
 Yep, again, the same stuff that I get at the dollar store.
7. Try a luminizing product, but use caution. Many cosmetic lines have come out with foundations, lotions and concealers that give a gentle, highlighting effect. Most of these products contain some kind of luminescent particle, which helps to blur imperfections and fine lines. While these products are fun and help the skin to glow, remember they can also have the reverse effect if not applied correctly. If you like the idea of a foundation that has this property, use it sparingly, and only if you have fine lines. Deep-set wrinkles will not benefit from any kind of shimmer as they only enhance and emphasize the texture in the skin.

8. Make sure your hair looks young. Even if you’ve had a face-lift, you won’t look young if your hair is damaged, out of control or doesn’t have a style. If you’re starting to go gray, make an appointment with your colorist to touch up or refresh your color. A few face-framing highlights will also help to take a few years off. If you’ve decided to keep your hair gray, give it a style that will enhance your features. Avoid pulling your hair back tightly, as it will only make the face look older and more severe.
I tried to darken my hair color this past year.  It was alright, but I really had to stay on top of it, because I noticed one or two gray hairs (they must have fallen out on Ray's head and landed on me) would show up.  That's why I went back to my paler blonde color.  Those grays don't show up.  Or I just don't notice them.

9. Don’t forget the neck! There’s a reason why your grandmother used face cream on her face and neck. Like the skin around your eyes, losing skin’s elasticity in the neck area adds years to your appearance. There are a number of neck creams out on the market, so look for one that is hydrating and firming. A good one to try is La Prairie Cellular Neck Cream ($99, neobeauty.com).
 I always continue my moisturizer down my neck and onto my chest.  Of course, it's the same cheap stuff I use on my face from the dollar store.  OMG!  Who spends $99 on cream?  I could feed my family for a week on that.

10. Keep your pearly whites white. A nice bright smile helps you to look healthier, happier and younger. Your teeth can become stained over time, especially if you drink coffee or colas. Make an appointment with your dentist to see how you can maximize the look of your smile, or use an at-home whitening kit such as Crest Whitestrips ($42.99, dentist.net).
 I like the stuff that Wal-Mart sells for $4.99, and that includes the little mouth guard looking thingie that you put the gel in.
Have a great afternoon!
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